Nike turned a new chapter in their book of football boot innovation this week as the PhantomVSN replaced the Magista series. A boot with "Ghost Laces" focused on attacking with control, it's a futuristic silhouette set to be worn by the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Philippe Coutinho.

Kev and Phil will switch into the grey and red "Raised on Concrete" colourway ahead of the new 2018/19 season, but here we're taking a look at the "Black Op" edition, which became the first to hit the market today, with two additional colour palettes dropping in the coming weeks. Letting the new tech flourish without the need for colour, it's a design that celebrates the latest in Swoosh innovation.


Built from the inside out, the Nike PhantomVSN features Quadfit technology that isn't visible from the outside. Quadfit doesn’t have the stretch bias typically seen in woven materials. The four axes of fibers conform to the player’s foot and provide support in all directions. The result is an incredible fit across a very broad spectrum of unique foot structures.

Other key tech details include: Ghost Laces are introduced to make the boot look laceless but still feature a lace system. Nike player feedback has told the Swoosh that players still want laces. So laces they have got. A Textured Flyprint upper informed by ball touch data provides the control element, and an entirely new FEA-informed traction pattern accommodates quick multi-directional cuts on a lightweight, responsive plate.


The Flyknit collar is attached to the boot but also features a slit to allow players to tuck the laces away – a feature that will no doubt please players who have worn the Magista Obra, Hypervenom 3 DF, and Mercurial Superfly in the past. The "Black Op" design won't feature on the feet of any Nike professional players, you'll be seeing the recognisable players wearing the "Raised on Concrete" colourway from this week onwards. That colourway is set to drop on July 30.


Pick up the Nike PhantomVSN football boots from

Photography by Phil Martin for SoccerBible.